ENFIELD, Conn. — The agriculture industry adds billions of dollars to the state's economy annually. Fruit, vegetables, tobacco. Just some of the top crops grown right here in Connecticut
Weather conditions, diseases to crops are challenges farmers face yearly.
The new hurdle, COVID -19. Third-generation farmer Steve Jarmoc, is no stranger to facing challenges in the farming world. This time the challenges faced are not with the crops but, workers.
If we do have a problem with help, that would be our major hurdle explained Jarmoc, the warmer weather comes hopefully will get more people that are interested in jobs we also have some guys that we house here and I’m not sure actual time schedule will be for them I’m sure it’ll be held up also”
He’s not alone, owner of shaker farms market in Enfield, Rick Ouellette, relies 90% on farmers to supply their vegetables and fruit. He farms the other 10%. Ouellette plans to open May 1st. Implementing COVID-19 guidelines.
He said some of the farmers he’s worked with have expressed the same concern, stating “I did speak to some of my suppliers and he is concerned with the help he’s going to have if these people are going to be able to travel he does rely on out of state help and that is one of his concerns”
But that’s not slowing production, Jarmoc says “the fortunate thing for us is we are outside all the time so sort of working at a distance from each other that works out fine we get a lot of fresh air a lot of moving air and you’re not subject to someone right around you.”